Kids Cooking: Preserving the Garden

Posted by the Mom (aka Kelly Biedny)

The harvest season has begun. Sweet ripe corn, juice plump tomatoes, fresh tasty peas, crisp beans…I could go on and on. The problem is, these drool inducing fresh veggies are only in season once a year. The best we can do is try and preserve them.

Canning, freezing, dehydrating and cool storage are the ways we do our best to save the freshness for throughout the year. AND, preserving foods is a great way to have some fun with the kiddies! Although we live in an apartment and have only an herb garden, Grandma, along with my step-Grandma and Dad (Grandpa to Alex & Soph) all have gardens and love to share. We’re hoping to share some of it with an episode of Two Kids Cooking TV later this fall, but in the meantime we hope you and your family get in on the action.

When canning or freezing, the kids will have fun helping:
– Corn & peas can be shucked;
– Beans can be snapped
– Berries can have tops removed …there’s always a job to be done.

And, who says your packaging has to be boring? You can get a bit creative and make your pantry look pretty. Plus, the preserved garden harvest makes a great gift for friends and family, so a decorated container makes it even more special. Now, If you’re freezing you’ll want to make sure to label the freezer bags with the date, but getting more creative with the packaging is a bit challenging. With canning or packaging dehydrated foods, you can get a bit more creative:

-Take fabric scraps and cut them into circles, about 2 inches larger than the top of the jar. Use a scissors with a fancy edge if you have one.
-Take a piece of card stock and make a label with the contents and the date canned. We like to use our fancy creative memories punch, but you can make it whatever shape you want.
-Poke or punch a small hole in the top of the label and thread a piece of ribbon, raffia, twine, whatever ‘string’ you have, through the hole.
-Place the fabric on top of the jar and tie your labeled string around it.
-Viola! A super cute jar of whatever you just canned or dehydrated!

We realize that it’s not feasible to fancify all of your preserved foods, but if you give some away, or just keep a few stored in plain sight, it’s a fun way to spiff ‘em up.

We hope you and your family enjoy the harvest!

P.S. Let your little one’s help in style (and safety) with their own kitchen tools from Curious Chef—available at our Two Kids Cooking Shop!

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